Traditional and timeless

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Galaxy Watch

Modern masterpiece

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

Fossil gen 5 Carlyle

Prefer a more traditional watch with a rotating bezel and all? The Samsung Galaxy Watch was made for you. It comes in two large sizes with a colorful screen, big battery, and impressive health/fitness tracking perks. It's gigantic, though, which may be a turn off for those who need something lightweight for their workouts.

$259 at Amazon

Pros

  • LTE capability
  • Two size options
  • GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Rotating bezel
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • A bit rugged for some wrists
  • Notification support could be better

If you like to stay up to date with your smartwatch selection, you might prefer a newer device like the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. You can have it all with the Carlyle, too. It doesn't have LTE but still comes with plenty of features, like Google Assistant, music storage, Google Pay, and more. It's also undeniably more stylish.

$295 at Amazon

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • GPS, HRM, NFC
  • Google Assistant
  • Music storage
  • New Snapdragon Wear 3100

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Difficult to read in sunlight
  • No LTE

Choosing between two smartwatches depends on numerous factors. What style are you going for? What features matter the most to you? Is battery life important? How about LTE connectivity? These are some of the questions you'll want to ask yourself when you compare the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle.

If your main concern is having a fashionable smartwatch with the latest features, you may come out of this preferring the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. However, if you've been on the hunt for an LTE smartwatch with multi-day battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Watch may win you over.

Talk about an upgrade

Fossil Gen 5Source: Joe Maring / Android Central Pictured: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

When a successor is released, you can only hope the company heard the cries for certain upgrades. The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle checked a lot of these boxes. One of the improvements this line of smartwatches so desperately needed was with the processor, which has fixed many of the issues we had with the previous generation. The Fossil Gen 5 now runs on the new Snapdragon Wear 3100.

It gets better. This new model also has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, so you can expect much smoother performance. We should note that's double the storage that you'll get with the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Whether you use it for apps or music, it's quite the improvement.

Samsung Galaxy Watch (42 mm) Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle
Dimensions 41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7 mm 44 x 44 x 12 mm
Display 1.2-inch AMOLED 1.3-inch AMOLED
Operating system Tizen OS Wear OS
Sensors Accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, heart rate, light Accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope, heart rate
Storage 4GB 8GB
NFC Samsung Pay Google Pay
Battery life 3 days 1 day
Water resistance 5 ATM 3 ATM
Onboard GPS ✔️ ✔️
Optional LTE ✔️
Mic and speaker ✔️ ✔️

You might've gathered that in addition to being the newer watch, the Fossil Gen 5 is also more stylish. Sure, the Galaxy Watch has a certain traditional appeal to it, but it's simply not as sleek as its competitor. The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle comes in a 44 mm high-quality stainless steel case that's accompanied by a crisp 1.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen. As lovely as the display is, it can be difficult to read when you're in direct sunlight.

The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle comes in a 44 mm high-quality stainless steel case.

The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle has both a microphone and a speaker, which makes using Google Assistant much more enjoyable. You'll have standard health/fitness tracking via Google Fit as well as built-in GPS and heart-rate monitoring. The watch is water resistant up to 30 meters, which is slightly less than the Galaxy Watch.

Unfortunately, the battery on these watches will last for a day at best, so prepare to charge your watch regularly. There are smart battery modes to keep it juiced up longer, but this will shut off certain features. It's got NFC, so you can use Google Pay and leave your wallet at home. You won't be able to take calls, but it can do just about everything else.

A more traditional approach

Samsung Galaxy Watch 42mmSource: Android Central Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Watch

if your main reason for investing in a smartwatch is to have a wearable that can function without your phone, the Galaxy Watch is the better choice. It's already a hit with built-in GPS and Samsung Pay, which is similar to what you'll find on the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. However, where it wins is the LTE capability. This allows you to stream music and take calls and texts without your phone nearby.

Not only is the Galaxy Watch waterproof, but it also carries a MIL-STD-810G durability ratiting.

The stainless steel design is available in a 42mm or a 46mm case. It's not quite as spiffy as the Fossil Gen 5, but it has its perks. You'll appreciate the overall ease of use thanks to the rotating bezel. As long as you don't mind the added bulky hardware, this is a truly traditional smartwatch. If it looks rugged, that's because it is. Not only is the Galaxy Watch waterproof, but it also carries a MIL-STD-810G durability rating.

We can't forget to mention the health/fitness tracking perks. You'll also have the built-in GPS and heart-rate monitoring on this watch. It can track your stress levels and sleep stages as well. The Samsung Galaxy Watch can automatically detect and track six different workouts. There are an additional 39 workouts to choose from when selecting an exercise you want to track, so the possibilities are endless.

How to choose

Since there isn't a drastic price difference between these two watches, your decision will probably come down to features and design preferences. If you like the idea of a rotating bezel for easy navigation along with the option of LTE connectivity, you should consider the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Keep in mind the price tag will go up a bit if you opt for the larger 46mm model. This model will also give you an extra day of battery life.

If LTE isn't an essential feature in your eyes and you're not bothered by daily charging, the Galaxy Watch might lose its allure. Perhaps you're more interested in a fashionable design and having ultra-smooth performance from your smartwatch. If so, you'll find yourself a fan of the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle.

Either way you go, both are phenomenal options with a lot to offer. However, since the Galaxy Watch is a bit cheaper and has more features and better battery, it's probably the best option for most people.

Traditional and timeless

Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch

A traditional smartwatch

The Samsung Galaxy Watch may be a more traditional smartwatch, but it's still got plenty to offer. You can even select an LTE version so you can take calls from your wrist if that's what you're after. It also gives you great health and fitness tracking features.

Modern masterpiece

Fossil gen 5 Carlyle

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

A marvelous improvement

The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle boasts a stunning design but it's much more than that. This is one of the latest Wear OS smartwatches to have the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. You also get onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, Google Assistant, music storage, and more.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.